How to spell a final ‘ee’

I asked some teachers what kind of errors their students make and this answer grabbed my attention:

Forgetting simple rules – e.g. /ee/ at the end of a word is ‘y’, etc.

My first thought was that some students might know words like ‘agree’ or ‘tea’ or monkey’ but lack the language to talk about it. Rather than teaching rules, I’d look at spelling options, patterns and frequency and make sure every student can use the same language as the teacher for talking about these things.

There are 9 graphemes which can represent /ee/ at the end of a word. One is much more common than the others but even the rare ones are in fairly common words depending on your vocabulary needs. It’s the teacher’s job to find the balance between dazzling with correct but unecessary vocabulary and challenging students to stretch themselves with words they will grow into.

e recipe

ee  referee

y  family and many many more

ey  monkey

i macaroni

ea  tea

ie  hoodie

is  debris

ay  quay

Rather than write a long blog post, here’s a pdf of the lesson plan and sorting cards.